Most diary comics are kept by, well, cartoonists, and those cartoonists rarely have scientific day jobs. But Angela Melick's a mechanical engineer as well as an amateur cartoonist, and many of the entries in her Wasted Talent webcomic focus on the small joys of efficiency and rooms filled with geeky coworkers.
Since it's a diary comic, Wasted Talent spans all the minutiae of Melick's life: mountain bike rides around the Vancouver area, dinners with friends, sick days, and apartment hunting. But my favorite comics are the ones based on her engineering jobs. In comic #364, Melick gets her first post-graduation job at an energy efficiency firm. From there, we travel to her temporary work site in Burnaby, BC, where we see what an engineering job has in common with a roleplaying game. Plus, we witness the similarities between engineering conferences and comic conventions; what happens when you try to separate engineers into "thinkers" and "feelers"; how engineers plan barbecues; and the heebie-jeebies that come with working around deadly machinery.
It's by no means an in-depth look into the life an engineer, but it's a delight to see Melick so delighted with her career. She pokes fun at her own nerdy tendencies, such as her compulsion to make objects parallel whenever possible and her oddly scientific approach to reading her horoscope. Melick recently joined a smaller firm, and I hope we'll be seeing even more of her new office space and coworkers.
And, if anyone happens to be in the Vancouver area, Melick is actually having a party to celebrate her new book release.